The massive Equifax breach that’s dominated the business news is a sobering reminder of the vulnerability of big businesses, and their consumers, to the exploits of security-savvy hackers, criminals, activists, and hobbyists. As technology has infiltrated and empowered all aspects of business, as organizations digitize and put mission critical systems online, and as the digital business has gotten more sophisticated, so too have the attack vectors that all organizations, of any size, must protect themselves against.
While breaches affecting companies like Equifax, Target, and Sony receive huge attention in the media, for many organizations security is still an afterthought, an area to focus on if and only if attacks occur. Very few organizations take sufficient proactive steps to secure their environments and ecosystems while equipping themselves with assimilative and dynamic frameworks that keep current as the “bad guys” get more sophisticated, capable, and demanding.
Don’t Fall for Security Theater
This has to change; we need real security strategies and not simply Security Theater. Far too much is at stake, for individual businesses, for consumers, and for the entire ecosystem of digital business.
As organizations embark on the digital transformation “journey,” security must stay top of mind. Security breaches, from within and without, are givens to the system. It’s not a matter anymore of “if” but of “when,” “how often,” and “how major?” All large changes cut both ways- they empower and they constrain- digital transformation is no different.
Interestingly, security can be seen on both sides of the question as both empowerment and as a constraint. Clearly, organizations having to spend enormous time, money, and people-power in preventing attacks is a constraint to their otherwise smooth workings, but such is the cost of doing digital business. In addition to managing constraints well, organizations should think of the “security of enablement” in the sense that good, well-managed, and well-governed security strategies actually empower employees to be productive, partners to collaborate, and ideas to be shared.
Starting a Security Strategy
A strong security strategy includes elements of technology, people, and process, resting within a framework that is built on the understanding that change is inevitable. Great security strategies grow and morph as the needs of the business change, and as the attack vectors increase.
Great security strategies connect security with the needs of the business and acknowledge that each business has a different risk profile and as such, requires a different security profile. When business risk and security readiness are mismatched, problems ensue. When organizations take their eye off the security ball for even a moment, costly breaches occur.
Having a strong and assimilative security framework is not simply good business, its need is increasingly becoming enshrined in law. Security, Governance, and Compliance are the three horsemen of IT. They ride together.
Security is serious business. The good news, as one might expect, is that this area has seen enormous innovation in the last decade. Security technologies exist today at levels of performance heretofore unseen and at the lowest cost in history. These are very powerful pieces of security strategy, though they are not the silver bullets. In order to truly build a sustainable and strategic security framework, organizations need to concentrate on people and processes as well.
Putting the puzzle pieces together can be challenging but it has to be done. To do so, one has to look at security holistically, and to Plan for the “unknown unknowns.”
To help organizations think through, implement, and Manage these holistic solutions, Akvelon announces an array of security services, dedicated to helping organizations concentrate on their core businesses while mitigating the risks associated with security in a digital world.